Is there a dessert more perfect to end a summer barbeque or campfire with than a classic S'more? Why yes there is! Since a simple chocolate bar will be expected, imagine how delighted everyone will be to see a variety of homemade chocolate barks to choose from instead.
Here are four bark ideas to prepare with your kids that everyone will love. The directions to make the bark follow the ingredient list. Have fun coming up with your own flavor combinations, too. If you decide to create a signature bark, a good ratio to follow is 8 ounces chocolate to 1/3-1/2 cup topping. These recipes are easily doubled, but 8 ounces is a good size if you're making several different ones. Here are a few to begin with.
To make jelly bean bark: 8 ounces chopped white chocolate and 1/2 cup jelly beans
For a cookie crunch bark, 8 ounces chopped milk chocolate and 6 chocolate wafer cookies (crushed)
For peppermint bark: 8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped and ½ cup Junior Mints
For Mom's Choice Bark: 8 ounces dark chocolate (chopped), 1/3 cup dried cherries and 1/4 cup roasted almonds
What You Do:
Making chocolate bark is really simple. The first step is to set up a bain marie. To make a bain marie, fill a saucepan with about two inches of water. Place a glass mixing bowl snugly on top of the saucepan. The bottom of the bowl should not be touching the water. Bring the water to a simmer, and then reduce the heat. The bowl should never be too hot to touch. (If it is, reduce the heat more or remove it from the heat.)
Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl, stirring occasionally as it melts. Remove the bowl from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. The chocolate should be cool enough to not melt the ingredients you are about to add, but still remain in its liquid state.
Once the chocolate is cooler, stir in the other ingredients.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the chocolate mixture onto the sheet. Using a spatula evenly spread out the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until set. Break the large chocolate slab into smaller “S'more-sized” pieces.
As a time saver, these recipes skip the tempering process. To avoid getting grey streaks on your bark, make it in the morning and keep it in the refrigerator or the cooler until you are ready to assemble the S'mores.
Mindy Wright is a cooking instructor and owner of Patacake Parties.